Friday, December 23, 2005

Social Distortion 'Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell'

A couple of months ago, I converted from cash and checks to a check/debit card for several reasons. I like the convenience of never having to go to the bank and withdraw cash. Anywhere Visa is accepted, I’m good to go, baby.

I also got a check card because I didn’t like lying to street hustlers. They have migrated from the stoplight guilt stands near shopping centers into the growing downtown area of Greensboro. They ask for money and when I have it on me, I lie to them. Whether or not they are honestly on hard times, they don’t deserve a lie to their face. So, with my check card, I’m not lying. I rarely carry cash with me now.

I really dig using it everywhere. I use it at fast food places and other restaurants. I use it when I get gas and I never go inside. I use it to pay some bills online and I don’t have to worry about getting it in the mail because I’m pretty lazy about that.

I don’t know what it is about writing a check, stuffing it with a grunt into an envelope, putting a return address label on it, licking and sealing the envelope, and affixing a postage stamp to it… I just don’t like it. I get very lazy about. I’d much rather take the time and gasoline to deliver the bills in person. I do that with my insurance payments.

When I write out checks to mail them out, anything can distract me. It may be an old song on VH1 Classic or something off of a CD that I’m listening to as I type this (which is the title of this blog entry). I may have it on TV Land and get distracted by Eddie Haskell. I may just forget all about the bills when I get a red envelope from Netflix.

The check card makes it easier and timely to keep up with all my bills. I love paying things online because it instantly feels like it’s off my back. I don’t get that kind of satisfaction by mailing out a check because I have to wait to see it on my statement. Then I can rest easy.

Maybe I’m weird?

My bank statement arrived in the mail today and I balanced my checkbook for probably the sixth time of my life. And for the first time in my existence, I got all of the figures to match!

That’s why I have only balanced my checkbook six times, because it never works for me. I’ve always let an extra twenty float around in the money pool and forget about it. I’d occasionally compare my checkbook with my withdraw statement. And if I needed to float another twenty to play it safe, I did. Forgetting about a twenty was a lot better than bouncing checks in my mind.

When the bank’s figures matched my own… I wanted to grab a woman and swing her around in celebration. I wanted a ticker-tape parade. I wanted a phone call from the President. I wanted to be showered with ice cold Gatorade. I wanted to climb the chain link fence to the flag stand, grab the checkered flag, and wave it to the crowd gathered to celebrate my accomplishment.

None of that happened. I drank water and managed to keep it from spilling out of my mouth.


  1. Anonymous9:09 PM

    Dancers at gentlemen's clubs aren't big fans of the check card. I learned that the hard way.

  2. Anonymous9:10 PM

    And you are weird.

    But that's part of what makes you Eugene.

  3. Thank you about the strippers and confirming my weirdness, Brad.